My name is Jasmin Foster and I am a Dietetics graduate from the University of Kentucky. While in the didactic program at University of Kentucky my most exciting class was Quantity Food Production. My classmates and I were in charge of running a student restaurant, The Lemon Tree. For only $11.00 guests reserved a table where we would provide a three course meal. Students worked in pairs and rotated to every position of the restaurant to gain a diverse experience. Of course, we were supervised by a wonderful team that included a registered dietitian, two chefs, and two teaching assistants. For each meal students we were responsible to prepare food for an average of 40-50 guests and additional food for the class to eat making the total to at least 70 people! My partner and I started off working in front of house as servers. Here, we were in charge of preparing the dining room for service. As a server I learned etiquette on which side to stand, how to properly pour drinks, and how to set the dining room table. As front of house manager we were in charge of deciding the placement of table, decorations, handling money, and helping servers when in need.
The majority of the position were in back of house as cooks. All meals were made fresh and each day of service featured a Kentucky Proud or locally grown product. Some items were provided straight from the farm of our chef! As back of house manager responsibilities were to ensure everything ran smoothly by overseeing operations of all the cooks, delegating cleaning responsibilities, and working with the front of house manager to provide the correct number of dinner plates, glasses, and silverware needed. When my partner and I were in charge of dessert we made lemon poppy seed cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and raspberry drizzle. Some other dishes I made throughout the semester included spinach dip, sautéed kale, roasted turkey, pita bread, and a caprese salad with arugula greens. Customers of Lemon Tree were mostly faculty, staff, and family members of students. I was able to work on a larger scale using RoboCop mixers, large salad spinners, commercial ovens, ranges, and steam tables. Overall I learned a lot and gained a deeper understanding about what it takes to run a restaurant. Teamwork through effective communication, preparation, timeliness, and great customer service made my semester in The Lemon Tree a success. Having a hands on learning class was a great contrast to the medical nutrition therapy and science courses. To view more pictures visit The Lemon Tree Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/UKLemonTree).
Want to learn more about Jasmin's experience? Check out her blog at http://www.dietitianambition.com/ and on facebook at Dietitian Ambition